OAK FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — They have served troubled youth in the south suburbs for half a century, but now the Bremen Youth Services Center, which provided mental health services and counseling to young adults and children in suburbs like Orland Park, Flossmoor and Crestwood, is in danger of closing.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres talked with some of those people in this Original Report.
For 40 years, Don Sebek has been the director of Bremen Youth Services. Now the future of that agency is in limbo.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen in terms of us staying in the building,” Sebek says. “As of April 1, we have no contract.”
The agency known as BYS has been providing counseling services for youth in the Bremen Township for decades, but the long-standing relationship ended last week.
“They voted last week to replace us with another service to provide youth services,” Sebek says.
BYS asked for more money to cover the costs of their new building and the services they provide.
“We were only getting two hundred thousand, with a hundred thousand being taken right off to pay for the building which meant over the last five years we were really going downhill financially,” Sebek says.
But Bremen Township said no, and gave the bid to a different agency.
“We just found a bidder that you know would expand a little bit more on services and also be more affordable,” said Bremen Township Supervisor Maggie Crotty.
Now Sebek needs to find other ways to keep the agency afloat.
People like Alicia Tracy who benefited from Bremen’s services, are now looking for help.
“All of my free time is given back to this place because I believe in it so much that if I don’t do anything, I will feel like I let youth of this community down,” she says.
Bremen Youth Services plans to continue to provide services but could soon run out of money.
In the meantime- they’re raising funds, on a gofundme page, www.gofundme.com/mfx5bv2c.